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Published: April 2nd 2019
OLD FRIENDS REUNITE
We met up with Nyoman on our first day aboard.
He was our waiter 10 years ago on the world cruise.
On the vernal equinox we set out for Fort Lauderdale to spend the night prior to boarding the Regent Voyager for a 15-day passage from Miami to Barcelona. We have always enjoyed ocean crossings especially on a beautiful ship like the Voyager. With a total of 10 sea days, we would have plenty of time to contemplate the world while sailing across one of its vast bodies of water. When we finally reach Barcelona, we’ll dock very near a statue of Christopher Columbus…another wanderer who apparently liked transiting oceans also. I often think of him and marvel at his adventurous spirit and bravery to set out on an expedition to the unknown without radar, GPS, satellite phone or paper map and no room service either. Now that’s what I call roughing it.
We stayed at the Rodeway Inn by the airport since it met two of our requirements…a parking package and a big swimming pool. The next day we Uber-ed to the Port of Miami and happily noted that ours was the smallest ship surrounded by five mega vessels. And instead of heading south into the Caribbean we would be heading east not exactly into the unknown but on a
VIEW FROM THE VERANDA.
If the world was flat, we could see all the way to the USA.
journey of thousands of miles to another continent.
On our first day at sea we had our Virtuoso welcome reception. Since Captain Stan was on board, we put together a slide show of the sea rescue that he directed in 2009. While he related the story to our guests, we had the slides running. It was well received and as it turned out two of our guests were on that same exciting cruise with us. We had lots to reminisce about.
It took two days to reach our first port of Bermuda. This lovely bit of England sitting in the middle of the ocean is such an anomaly. It is a unique combination of Caribbean and British flavors and a bit of Americana thrown in for added spice. It is a place of pink sand beaches and pastel homes, of Bermuda shorts and sweet Bermuda onions, of privateers and celebrities. This archipelago is made up of seven main islands and 180 little ones set amidst the blue azure seas. Because the long channel into Hamilton is very, very narrow, Captain Stan had to await sunrise to pick up the pilot and begin navigating to the pier.
ANATOLY, STAN & TAMMY
General Manager, Captain and Social Hostess
decided to take a cruise of the vast Hamilton Harbor. We had a nice two deck tour boat to take us around to see some famous homes and infamous hideaways. The waterfront mansions are beautiful and surrounded by tropical foliage and sparkling pools. Queen Elizabeth, Winston Churchill, Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, John Lennon, Mark Twain, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones, Charlie Chaplin and Eugene O’Neill all spent time on this watery oasis.
John Lennon chartered a sailboat and entered the Newport to Bermuda race in 1980. Several days into the race he encountered a fierce gale and the inexperienced sailor, Lennon, ended up lashing himself to the helm during the worst of it and guiding the boat safely on its course. Upon arrival in Bermuda, he and Yoko Ono rented a cottage and he proceeded to compose his last album called “Double Fantasy”. That album was released one month prior to his death.
Mark Twain visited the island many times over a forty-year period. He loved Bermuda and he felt that it inspired him in his writings.
Michael Douglas is actually Bermudian by birth as his mother came from this island and married Kirk Douglas. Michael
MIAMI CRUISE AND CONTAINER PORT
Miami handles all kinds of shipping.
owns a large estate which is now on the market.
Charlie Chaplin married Eugene O’Neill’s daughter Oona when she was 18 and he was 54…much to the chagrin of her famous father.
Other than people, rum is the only export from Bermuda. It is a tax haven for the wealthy and an international insurance hub. Legal privateers were some of the first settlers and they were allowed to pirate any ship as long as it didn’t fly the British Flag. They amassed fortunes and started the banks and retail stores that still flourish on Bermuda and these pirates became upstanding citizens.
This island has been a favorite summer destination for East Coasters. The streets are filled with tourists on small motorbikes and luxurious resorts dot the landscape. Mark Twain almost single-handedly popularized Bermuda with quotes like this: “You can go to Heaven if you like. I’ll stay right here in Bermuda.” Besides, he wanted to be in a place where he could wear his white suit year-round.
With six sea days ahead of us, it was time to get in cruising mode.
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